|Recap added by Journalbookbinder
(Oddly, they start this one with a montage of the funny SPN episodes from the past. Shouldn't they let us decide if it's funny? Okay, end of editorial.)
Inside a taxidermy shop a taxidermist is working on a costumed Game of Thrones diorama made up of taxidermy rodents. His German shepherd Colonel keeps him company. There is a crash and Colonel growls. The taxidermist looks around but sees nothing. He raises his trusty
shotgun only to be startled by a taxidermy bear. The taxidermist thinks he's just scaring himself, but Colonel is still barking.
Suddenly, a man in a cowboy hat appears behind him and reveals a forked tongue. He grabs the taxidermist and lifts him off the ground with one hand, then he squeezes him so hard he breaks him in half (we see this in the shadow of the two men on the wall).
In the Men of Letter's bunker, Dean is telling Sam that Kevin is somewhere in the bunker (though we don't see Kevin) recovering from a hangover he obtained during his time off in Branson, MO (as referenced in the previous episode). Dean insinuates that Kevin can't hold his liquor.
Sam says he found something online. Sam wants to get back on the road. Dean wonders if he's well enough (though Sam says he feels fine). Dean starts to say, "The sooner you heal..." (the sooner Zeke will get the hell out of you..but Dean can't say that). Sam doesn't understand what Dean is worried about.
Sam argues they should be out hunting while Kevin is working on the tablets and Crowley is locked up.Dean can't tell Sam the real reason why he doesn't want Sam out hunting, so they drive to the taxidermist shop in Enid, Oklahoma.
Outside the shop, they see some red graffiti on the window with some symbols. Looks like vandalism.
Inside the shop, Dean is creeped out by all the stuffed critters. They meet with a local sheriff. The taxidermist was named Max. Max was found by his friend Stephens. Sam goes off to look around the shop with the Sheriff while Dean questions Mr. Stephens.
Stephens is helpful. He comes in to the shop to pick up the animal organs. They needed to be disposed of as hazardous waste. While Dean is questioning Stephens, Sam is holding up one of the Game of Thrones rodents for Dean to see with a hilarious questioning expression that seems to say 'What the hell is this?!?!" Dean returns the expression without missing a beat in his conversation with Stephens. (Small moments like this are why Supernatural is so great.)
When Stephens came to get the entrails that morning, there should have been a bunch there, but there weren't any. There was no sign of theft. Stephens says the only one there when he arrived was Colonel the dog.
Sam was able to search the entire place in no time flat and was unable to find a hex bag even though they are thinking this whole scenario is a bit "witchy". Dean wants to get out of the shop; he is unnerved by the taxidermy animals.
In a motel room, Sam finds out that that the symbol they found on the outside of the taxidermy shop belongs to a local animal rights group. Hunters frequent taxidermy shops and animal rights people don't like hunters.
Sam and Dean go to a vegan restaurant to find out who the members of this group are. Dean is sure they are entering the source of all evil; a restaurant that doesn't serve meat. It's a vegan bakery. Sam asks what that smell is. Dean responds that it's patchouli, mixed with depression from meat deprivation.
They question the two people working at the counter (Olivia and Dylan Camrose) who are wearing sunglasses...to which Dean comments that the only people who wear sunglasses inside are blind people and douchebags.
Olivia and Dylan are founding members of the local animal rights group. They sit down to talk to Sam & Dean; telling them that the taxidermist is kept in business by hunters and hunters are nothing but selfish dicks who define themselves by what they kill (very meta as Sam and Dean look at each other knowingly). They say they did not kill the taxidermist though. They were there defacing his place with spray paint, when they heard a hissing noise and we sprayed in the face with mace. They take off their sunglasses to show Sam & Dean their blistered skin.
Back at the motel, Sam is researching the injuries to their eyes and finds that they could have been caused by snake venom. Sam theorizes they might be dealing with some kind of snake-man because of the hissing and the fact that the taxidermist was squeezed to death. Sam says that no snake has venom AND constriction to kill its prey, so Sam's not quite sure what they are dealing with. Dean tells Sam to call Kevin to help with research.
Next we see the man in the cowboy hat at the local animal shelter. He slides the clerk some bribe money and goes in. The clerk thinks he's there to get animals to do testing on for perfume, but he starts taking cats out of their cages and puts them into a sack. The clerk becomes suspicious as the animals make lots of noise and enters the area with the cages just in time to see the man swallowing a cat whole.
He man's eyes appear cat-like and he suddenly grows long claws. He attack and kills the clerk, slashing him to death.
Sam and Dean arrive at the animal shelter as they are taking out the body of the clerk. They don't know what's going on since this killer has snake and cat attributes. Dean sees Colonel the German shepherd in a cage and realizes the dog has been at both crime scenes. Dean tests him with silver to see if he's a shapeshifter. He's not.
Sam notices that Colonel starts barking when the Sheriff with a hat walks up. It's the hat that sets the dog off. Colonel was the only witness to both crimes. Sam calls Kevin to see if he can find a way to speak to a dog.
Kevin gives him an Inuit spell that allows a human to mind-meld with an animal. Back in the motel room, Sam mixes up a disgusting-looking concoction and Dean volunteers to drink it. Sam doesn't understand why Dean won't allow him to do anything. Dean drinks it, then reads the spell, but nothing happens.
Later, as Sam & Dean are eating, "I Wanna Know What Love Is" by Foreigner is on the radio. Out of nowhere, Dean hears "change the station". It's Colonel. Dean can hear him, even though he's not barking; it's more like Dean is reading his thoughts. Dean and Colonel start arguing about what constitutes classic rock and whether or not Styx qualifies.
Dean asks Colonel about the cowboy hat; why did it upset him? Colonel says someone in a cowboy hat killed his best friend. He couldn't really see what the guy was doing at the animal shelter, just that he smelled like red meat, dishwashing detergent, and Tiger balm and that it was the same man who killed the taxidermist.
Sam asks what Colonel is saying and casually throws away a wadded-up fast food wrapper. Dean grabs it out of the trash and throws it back at Sam without thinking (this is by far the most subtle and funniest part of this entire episode). Sam asks Dean what he's doing.
Colonel starts barking at the mailman outside. Dean also runs to the window and yells at him.
Sam breaks it to Dean that maybe this spell worked a bit too well; he's acting like a dog. Sam throws away the wrapper again and Dean struggles to not retrieve it.
Later, Sam is on the phone to Kevin finding out about the side effects of the spell. Colonel asks Dean if he has the urge to sniff butts. Dean is offended by the suggestion (maybe he protests too much). Colonel points out to Dean that he shouldn't be eating chocolate either.
(I have to say, the dog's voice is very distracting. It would have been better if Dean could hear him, but we could not. It's cartoony and just not great. Jared even agreed when he live-tweeted this episode.)
Out in the motel parking lot, Dean and Sam and Colonel head to the Impala to go back to the shelter. Dean realizes that not only can he hear the thoughts of the dog, but of all other animals as well. A pigeon sitting on a street light drops some bird crap on the Impala and basically tells Dean off while doing so.
Colonel explains to Dean that animals have a universal language.
Sam drives. Dean and Colonel both hang out the window.
Sam wants to leave Colonel in the car. Dean insists they have to bring him in with them.
In what may be one of the strangest scenes ever filmed for Supernatural, on the way in to the shelter, Dean and Colonel both drool over a poodle who is tied up outside. (Too weird and I can't comment any further.) Sam seems amused. The rest of the world is creeped out.
Inside the shelter, all of the dogs have individual, caricature-like voices. All of the dogs are complaining about the deplorable conditions of the shelter. (Was this supposed to be funny? It's depressing.) One Yorkie with a Southern accents says he saw everything, but won't talk unless Sam gives him a belly rub. Sam does, looking like he's hating it. The dog talks and tells Dean about the man in the cowboy hat taking all the cats and eating one. The dog says he saw that the man in the cowboy hat put the cats in a bag with French writing on it...from a cafe downtown.
As they go to leave, Dean looks around and decides to free all of the dogs.
Later that night they arrive at the cafe. The place appears to be closed. Sam finds a bunch of painkillers in a drawer. Dean hears something; it's some mice in a cage. He can hear them talking. (The voices are TERRIBLE. C'mon production people!) The mice tell Dean to look in the fridge. Dean finds all kinds of animal parts in labelled containers.
Sam finds a book of spells...he reads that if you eat the organ of an animal, you can gain some of its attributes. Sam says it's shamanism. Eating owl makes you smarter, etc. Sam realizes their suspect, a chef (Chef Leo), is mixing different animal parts to get different results. He's creating his own recipes.
Sam and Dean hear a clatter and find a kitchen assistant working. He says they are having a private dinner. Dean says the health department is shutting down the kitchen and throws the staff out (the cook and a waiter).
Sam and Dean start searching for Chef Leo. They split up.
Chef Leo emerges from a wall where he has been blending in seamlessly like a chameleon. He comes up behind Sam and slashes him with his claws. Sam grabs his own neck as he bleeds profusely. Sam's eyes burn blue and Zeke takes over for just a second; long enough to heal Sam's neck; then it's back to Sam who doesn't understand why he is no longer bleeding.
Chef Leo is in awe; he asks how Sam did that (healed himself). "Did what?" asks Sam. Leo wants to know what Sam is. Leo punches Sam, knocking him out. He has decided that he wants to have whatever power Sam has and therefore, he is going to have to eat him.
Sam is passed out on the floor and Leo is sharpening his knives. Dean enters, gun drawn. Leo smells him before he can see him, saying Dean smells like dog. Dean fires at him, but he dodges the bullet, Matrix-style. Leo throws a meat cleaver at Dean, but Dean ducks out of the way. Leo drops Dean with a punch, then ties him to the leg of a kitchen table.
Dean sees Sam passed out on the floor and asks what Leo did to him. Leo wonders what their mom was smoking when she had them. Dean is half dog and Sam is something Leo can't identify.
Dean uses his dog senses...he can smell something; that Leo is sick with cancer. Leo confirms it's stage 4 carcinoma. Dean realizes Leo is doing this to try to prolong his life. He's making up his own treatment as he goes along (with the help of a shaman at first). Leo says it's at least helping for now. The effects last longer if he mixes different species. Leo says he never set out to kill anyone, but those who got in his way had to die. Leo says that if he eats predators enough, he might become one.
Dean continues to mouth off to Leo. Leo wonders what he'd have to eat to take down dog boy. He decides that a wolf would be able to kill a dog. He opens a cooler and find some wolf parts; saying he'll kill Dean first, then Sam so that he can take on Sam's healing powers.
Dean is slowly fraying the rope that is binding his wrists.
Leo eats the wolf meat and grows canine teeth. He also seems stronger. Dean gets free when he wears through the rope and tries to attack Leo with the clever. Leo deflects him. Dean runs with Leo chasing him.
Out in the alley, Leo tells Dean that wolf trumps dog. Dean responds that it might, but not when there's a whole pack. Dean whistles and all the dogs from the pound come running, tearing into Leo and ripping him apart, killing him.
Dean runs to Sam's side in the kitchen. Sam is still unresponsive on the floor. Dean calls for Zeke, but no response. Dean continues to shake Sam and he begins to wake up.
Later, Sam and Dean are dropping Colonel off a the vegan restaurant. The owners of the restaurant have agreed to adopt him. Dean can still hear Colonel's thoughts. Dean says he wishes they could keep Colonel, but life on the road is no life for a dog. Colonel says it's okay; he gets carsick anyway and already threw up in the back seat of the Impala. Dean forgives him.
Colonel tells Dean there's something he should know; dogs aren't really man's best friend...it might sound like a conspiracy theory, but the real reason dogs were put here was...and at that moment the spell wears off. Dean can't understand Colonel anymore; all he hears is barking.
Dean's completely frustrated that he'll never know the secret.
Dean tells Sam the spell wore off and asks Sam if he's okay. Sam says he can't stop thinking about what Leo said; why would he ask what he was. Dean says Leo was all juiced up and Dean gets a pensive look as he tells Sam that Leo was possessed by something he couldn't control. Dean says it was just a matter of time before what Leo was possessed by just took over entirely. Of course we know Dean is talking about Zeke and Sam, but Sam doesn't know that. Dean tries to brush it off saying "you can't reason with crazy, right?". Sam doesn't look convinced.
Dean tells Sam to trust him, he has nothing to worry about. Dean looks thoughtfully over at Sam as they drive off.